Jessie Duarte Daughter – According to members of her family, the late Jessie Duarte, who served as the deputy secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC), put the requirements of others ahead of her own even though she was going through the most unthinkable anguish as a result of her fight against cancer.
RIP Jessie Duarte
After a protracted and difficult struggle against cancer, Duarte passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning, making him the member of the ANC’s top six national leadership to have served the organisation the longest. It was the year 68.
During the memorial service that was held on Sunday afternoon at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg, her brother Zane Dangor paid tribute to his sister on behalf of the Duarte family.
A special official category two burial has been proclaimed for the late struggle veteran by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. Funeral rites were carried out in a manner consistent with Muslim law.
According to Dangor, a champion of the ANC struggle, she protected her family from seeing her suffering because she was aware that it would make them feel a great deal of anguish.
“Jessie was born with a generous spirit that allowed her to readily embrace everyone around her. She took after her mother Julie by putting the comfort and well-being of others ahead of her own in order to care for others, as he explained.
“Your laughter was consistent all the way through.”
Dangor read a letter that Duarte’s daughter, Zoe, had written to her mother in the final weeks of her life. The letter was addressed to Duarte.
An excerpt from the letter was read in which Zoe discussed how tough it was for the family to witness Duarte’s battle with cancer and the toll that it took on them as a result of Duarte’s illness.
In spite of this, Zoe asserted that her mother never wavered in her commitment to the family.
An excerpt from the letter reads as follows: “Mom, I’ve been at your side, watched you, [and] assisted you day and night. Your stamina and weight both dropped, and you expressed a desire for privacy so that we wouldn’t witness the discomfort you’re experiencing.
I was also able to show my mother how little had changed. Your grin hasn’t changed a bit; it’s still quite warm. Your chuckle was consistent all the way through.”
Dangor expressed that the family would carry on the celebration of Duarte’s life and the contributions he made to the democracy of South Africa.
We’ve seen firsthand how generous and supportive you are, so when we say that you’re among the best of us, we’re not just using a catchphrase. You were, in point of fact, the very best for us.
In his conclusion, Dangor made a reference to Zoe’s letter, which he claimed encapsulated the feelings of the entire family.
“Mom, when the doctors told us that it is not looking good and that you only have a few weeks or a few months to live… time flashed before my eyes. You only have a few weeks or a few months to live.” We could use some more time, mama.
In addition to this, he said, “Mom, it looks like your body is starting to slow down. I pray to God for serenity; the calm that comes from knowing that you will rest in peace.”
This generosity of spirit was ingrained in Jessie from birth. We learned this valuable lesson from our mother Julie, who put the needs of others ahead of her own comfort. We are all members of the family who have been, at one point or another, recipients of the goodness and compassion that she exudes.
Dangor made reference to the letter that Zoe had written to Duarte, in which she said, “Mum, your body is slowing down, I ask God for peace, the peace of knowing that you will rest in peace.”
These phrases encapsulate the feelings shared by every member of the family. We held a memorial service to honour Jessie’s life. But we were also aware of the suffering she was going through. We are therefore thankful and comforted that she is now free, that she can now soar in the hereafter, light and joyous, and with the wonderful smile that we have all seen on her face.
Kristin Whitley, Duarte’s granddaughter, was one of the many people who spoke during the special category 2 burial that was held at Westpark Cemetery. She was the one who read out Duarte’s obituary, which detailed her early years as well as her contributions to the fight for South Africa’s liberation.
Those who attended the funeral included the suspended secretary-general of the ANC, Ace Magashule, the former premier of Gauteng, Tokyo Sexwale, the former president of South Africa, Kgalema Mohlanthe, as well as ministers and prominent ANC figures.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, gave a speech to the crowd of mourners and said that they had assembled in “sorrow and disbelief.”
According to him, prominent leaders with the ANC were expected to pay a visit to Duarte on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., but instead they went to her funeral.